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His Life…And His Choice

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My Life, My Quit™ helps a teen quit vaping

Caleb Norder and his guitarWhen Caleb Norder first tried vaping before his freshman year in high school, it seemed fun and cool. Everybody was doing it — kids in the back of the bus, in the school bathrooms and even in class. When he vaped liquid that contained nicotine, he immediately noticed the jolt that came from nicotine — and liked it. He began vaping more and more.

Soon, his mother, Lynne, noticed that he had become moody. His grades dropped and he spent more and more time alone in his room. Then one day, she walked in to find Caleb loading vaping liquid into his vaping pen. “I was mortified,” she said.

Lynne and her husband, Mike, took away Caleb’s vaping paraphernalia and told him he had to quit. But he didn’t. And so began a cycle of discovering Caleb vaping, taking away his paraphernalia and giving him consequences, only to have him start vaping again.

“It’s not a big deal. It’s my life, and I’ll quit when I want to. I’m not addicted,” Caleb told them. “I finally realized it was true,” Lynne said. “I could take away his devices and try to force him to quit, but until he found a reason that mattered to him it wouldn’t last.”

Vaping eventually lost its luster. It cost Caleb hundreds of dollars to buy vaping liquid and to replace paraphernalia his parents confiscated. Vaping harmed his lungs, leaving him gasping for breath when he was running and swimming. Stories of exploding vape pens and hospitalized young vapers worried him. After several failed attempts to quit, Caleb realized he was addicted to nicotine.

That September, he logged on to My Life, My Quit™, a program developed by National Jewish Health to help teens and young adults stop using e-cigarettes and other forms of tobacco. Within a couple of hours, he received a call from a My Life, My Quit coach, who asked how he was and if he was interested in quitting. They talked for 45 minutes. “He was cool,” said Caleb. “He didn’t try to lecture me. We just talked about vaping and nicotine and quitting.”

Caleb enrolled in the program. Coaches checked in with him regularly, supporting his quit attempt, offering suggestions on how to deal with cravings and awkward social situations. Two months after that first phone call, Caleb completed the My Life, My Quit program. He has remained nicotine-free for more than a year and has no desire to go back.

“I’m loving it,” said Caleb. “My grades are up. I am making more friends, not just hanging out with people who vape. I don’t get headaches, and my lungs are stronger. I couldn’t have quit on my own without support from My Life, My Quit.”

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